It’s been a bit of a mixed bag from the new Chris Lilley series so far. There’s been plenty to keep me chuckling, but there’s also a few dud characters that, if they keep going like they are, could possibly keep the series from reaching its full potential. But, as I say, some gem characters are keeping me interested.
The latest episode has a lot more going on than the previous two and we’re introduced to another “legend” character, Blake Oakfield, the pro surfer. Blake is the ‘hot shot’ surfer, who now resides in his hometown with his group of friends called The Mucca Mad Boys. They have an on-going rivalry with The Fennel Hell Men over their beach, to get the best surf, and there’s an extensive re-enactment to show their history with each other, which dates back about twenty years.
During a heated fight with The Fennel Hell Men, Blake lost his testicles after one of them pulled a gun on him. Shortly after this, he retired from surfing after being bitten by a dolphin. As he states, “Surfing just didn’t feel right anymore.” Blake is an improvement on S. Mouse from the last episode. He’s lazy, ridiculous and has an exaggerated view of his own success and popularity, but most of all, it’s pretty funny. Still not ‘ROFL’ funny, but still, pretty good.
Unfortunately, the episode does revisit S. Mouse, who’s currently tired of the bubblegum hip hop music his producers are forcing him to release. So, he rebels and uploads a video on the Internet of his own song “Grandma Fucker”. He’s instantly dropped from his label. There isn’t much here that’s overly interesting, aside from his girlfriend’s hilarious name, “Lasquisha”, that is.
While all this going on, Daniel is planning a leaving party for his brother, Nathan, who’s going to a special school for deaf people. It’s nice to break up the S. Mouse stuff with these characters, as they’re very entertaining.
Daniel wants to get all his legends together for the party, so he enlists his gran (the Gran) to help get the invites out. Sadly, we only see Gran via Skype for a few seconds, but she still brings the funny by getting the invites to all the necessary people. Despite hearing super famous model, Emily, won’t be coming, Daniel remarks, “Can’t believe she got the invite out. Good on ya, Gran!”
So, the episode isn’t consistently funny, but on the plus side, as the series progresses, I can’t help but marvel at how insanely talented Lilley is at acting. During all the ‘reconstructions’, where Blake talks about the divide of his beach town and the neighbouring town, it’s really entertaining to listen to him speak and notice all the little gestures Lilley adds to give this character some identity and to set him apart from the other characters. There could be the risk of them becoming rather samey, but that doesn’t seem to be an issue here. Even with the twins, these are two very separate characters that Lilley portrays in two very separate ways.
If this particular episode doesn’t get people excited enough, it’s down to one massive omission from the episode: Gran. Already, I can see how much the series is going to rely on her alone to keep the viewers interested. The twins do have some of their better moments in this episode, but they can’t carry the weight of the episode themselves. So, it was definitely a bonus to be introduced to Blake. Let’s see who the next episode will bring us.
Read our review of episode 2 here.